President Xi Jinping’s keynote speech at the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2018 on April 10 sparked keen interest among participants. Edited excerpts of their comments follow:
Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary General of the United Nations and newly elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the BFA
In September 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced his vision at the United Nations that he was committed to creating an international community with a shared future that would inspire all member states. He continues to inspire today.
This morning, he made a very important statement regarding the reform and opening up of the Chinese industrial and financial sectors.
As the new chairman of the Boao Forum for Asia, I'm committed and ready to work with all of you to make sure that we not only promote the economic and social integration of Asia, but that we transcend Asia. We must work hard to promote the socioeconomic and sustainable development for prosperity of all the peoples of the world, particularly those in developing countries. I think President Xi has already laid out a very good vision and mechanism with the Belt and Road Initiative, which is supported by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Already, there have been many new visions shared today. I am very inspired.
Allan Gabor, President of Merck China
I have been living in China for 20 years and it’s my eighth time at the BFA. In the past two decades, I have seen China be very consistent in opening up to the world and be positive about building up mutually beneficial relationships with other countries in the world. The speech that President Xi delivered shows that China is proceeding toward action in a very deliberate and active way. For those of us in the business community, it provides a lot of transparency and stability. This is what we need.
Giulio De Metrio, Chief Operating Officer of SEA, Italy's major airport operator
The Belt and Road Initiative is an instrument for the implementation of the vision of a shared future for mankind. The initiative mainly involves infrastructure development, which clearly indicates that connectivity is one of its priorities and an enabling factor of opening up. It also creates ways of bringing more prosperity to neighboring countries. Good neighbors for China are also good neighbors for Europe.
Gu Xueming, President of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation of China's Ministry of Commerce
China has grown into the world’s second largest economy, the largest industrial producer, the largest trader of goods and the holder of the largest foreign exchange reserves. It could not have reached these heights without the reform and opening up process. Meanwhile, we have lifted 700 million people out of poverty. All of these achievements are not easy to attain.
Aravind Yelery, Indian scholar of Chinese studies
China and India are not necessarily competitors in Africa; they can work on projects together. Sure, they are competing at the business level, but that is just one factor. We should see how cooperation can play a much bigger role than competition. China has the best example of poverty alleviation; India and Africa face the same problem of how to lift people out of poverty. China’s experience in this regard can offer inspiration.
(Reporting by Yuan Yuan, Hou Weili and Liu Ting)
Copyedited by Rebecca Toledo
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